There is an immense spectrum of lifestyle business types. On one end of this spectrum, a lifestyle business can have many of the characteristics of a startup. On the other end, a lifestyle business can also appear very similar to a small business. Regardless of where their business falls on this spectrum, lifestyle entrepreneurs are both knowledgeable and passionate about their product.
Categorizing what a lifestyle business is, is more difficult than defining what it is not. So let’s start there.
A lifestyle business is not a startup.
Lifestyle entrepreneurs typically have a more balanced life than the founders of a startup and while it is true that lifestyle businesses can generate a lot of growth, it is often not at a level that will attract Angel or VC investment. Simply put, the ROI is too low. Because massive growth is not a critical factor, it is possible for a lifestyle businesses to have only a single founder. And without Angel or VC investment, an exit event is not necessary, so a lifestyle entrepreneur can continue to run their business for as long as they desire and in the manner that they see fit.
A lifestyle business is not a small business, but it can be an entrepreneurial small business.
What’s the difference? Well, it primarily has to do with approach and attitude. To start with, small business owners and small business entrepreneurs are both highly dedicated to their business and put in long hours to keep it going. However, this is where the similarities end. Small business owners are often content with going home at the end of a long day and trying to find some time to relax. Conversely, entrepreneurs are innovators at heart. They are constantly coming up with new ideas and more often than not, down time is simply not that attractive to them. They are constantly looking for new ways to optimize, grow, or incorporate some new technique or technology into their business. Small business entrepreneurs are the cutting edge of the small business world and thus the reason that they are not simply an owner.
Characteristics of a Lifestyle Entrepreneur:
- Retaining Control – if you want to retain control of your business then don’t seek investment from Angels, VCs, and other similar investors.
- Retirement – you plan to continue running your company until you are too old to do so.
Example of Lifestyle Businesses:
- Kombucha Town